I began working on my own guitars in Florida in 1996 when I started hanging out with my brother at a local repair shop where he worked. He and the other guys at the shop began teaching me setup and fret work and started to give me clients’ guitars to work on under their supervision. By 1998 I was working there full time and had also built two solid body guitars of my own design. In 2000 I married the love of my life, Chellee, and moved to Phoenix, Arizona where I attended the Roberto-Venn School of Luthiery. We returned to Central Florida in 2001 where I continued my guitar work. In 2003 I built my first Chellee branded Model One guitar, and built several more before finally opening up my own shop in Debary, Florida in 2007.
In 2007 I also began toying with the idea of building an overdrive pedal. I spent a good deal of time and energy studying the Tube Screamer circuit and many of the mods that various people have tried over the years. Before long I was building a simple TS clone with a few mods and a selectable clipping section. By 2009 I had developed the Odelya Overdrive and had received great feedback about it. I had it reviewed by Guitar Player Magazine and it was used by Dave LaRue on the first Flying Colors album as a bass overdrive. Unfortunately it was too time consuming to produce in large quantities so I planned to redesign it and it was put on the back burner for a while. It wasn’t until 2014 that I was finally able to get back to it and that summer I released the new Odie Overdrive.
Whether I’m setting up a Squire Strat, building a custom acoustic guitar, or building a run of pedals, my philosophy is the same: Use the best materials you can, over engineer it, and do it right the first time. I use the best possible parts, from expensive boutique audio capacitors in my pedal designs to stainless steel frets and carbon fiber neck reenforcement in my guitars. My pedals use Switchcraft 12B stereo jacks for both input and output because they hold the cable tighter. I use mil-spec Teflon insulated hook-up wires and all of my PCBs have a built-in strain relief design to eliminate wire breakage at the board. I also hand solder every pedal myself and test each one before boxing and shipping. When you buy a Chellee guitar or pedal you are buying a product that was designed by me and produced by me and my family. I stand behind all of my products and build them to last.